Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Need of Consolation

   Growing up watching game shows on television I thought "consolation" meant "loser."  After all, it was the non-winners who were given "Consolation Prizes."  These prizes were usually just more products from the show's sponsors.  Such as, "So sorry you missed out on winning $25,000 - Johnny tell her what she did win."  "Beth, you'll receive a year's supply of Turtle Wax - the wax that puts a new car shine on your car!"  It's as if they wanted Beth to respond,  "WOW!  Turtle Wax?!  Glad I didn't win all that money!"
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel . . . Luke 2:25a  NIV
   Consolation is indeed for losers, for it is those suffering loss who need to be consoled.  I recently lost a very good friend who also happened to be the beloved mayor of our town.  The very day of his memorial service, grief was piled upon grief as news came in of a gunman killing 26 people - 20 children and 6 adults - at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  Consolation was in great need and in seemingly short supply.  How was I, with my own broken heart, supposed to lead the consoling of a community - esp. with the news of the school massacre fresh on our hearts?  

   The Consolation of Israel - Jesus Christ - is the only One Who can heal the broken heart.  He consoles with His strong and gentle presence.   He consoles with His death to pay for sins and with His resurrection to destroy the power of death.  He consoles with the anticipation of His return and the end of all that is evil or wrong.  In the midst of things we cannot understand and pain we cannot overcome, we must seek refuge in the Lord.  May the Lord console the mourning and hurting hearts - wherever they may be found . . . .

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